I’m working thru a phase of depression. I’m aware that much of my present reality, ours really, justifies some of my funk…but I haven’t yet committed to active dissention. I’m happy for those who’ve found purpose in their activism…that’s just not yet speaking to me.
And I experience further dissatisfaction and self-criticality, knowing that MY reality, compared to the majority of humanity justifies so little cause for my unhappiness. I am safe, I am sheltered, I am well fed…and am likely to remain so.
I watch LITTLE BIG LIES. It is handsome with an accomplished cast and set in a scenic locale. I wonder how it is received by the wider world. My takeaway (and I will continue to watch, make no mistake) is that affluent, attractive well educated, largely white Americans can find unhappiness as quickly as the rest of us.
So financial security is apparently no guarantee that lives can not get fucked up. Wonder how much comfort that is to viewers that tease themselves with this mantra? “Man if I had that kind of money, no way would I not be fulfilled!” Right? Is that not the subtext of most who watch such prime time soaps? And how many people do you know of or have read about, that enjoyed such affluence…and found ways to destroy it?
The most fulfilled people I’ve met in the world during my journeys; the villagers of Greece, the farmers of Vietnam, the forest workers of Germany were not people of affluence. Far from it. But somehow, their values, their work, their faith sustained them and affirmed them. Now that was an earlier time, when material success was not constantly in their faces, on tv screens and magazines.
I dunno. Is this, “How you gonna keep em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Parie?” I’ve gotta wonder. And wonder how the wealth of 2017 strikes the average American…who KNOW they will never possess millions or billions of dollars. Movie star? $20 million a film? Sports star? $20, 50, 100, 200 million dollar contracts? And you gotta lump in there, CEO’s and hedge fund managers and lobbyists and entrepreneurs and …
I mean, what does the average citizen DO with such knowledge? Does it inspire them? Does it discourage them? Does it deflate their perceptions of their lives, knowing such will NEVER be their reality? Modern affluence is to some extent, a result of capitalism. Build a better mousetrap. Ally yourself with world-class robber barons. Be born on third base. It would seem to require some serious faith in some rather longstanding tenets of charity and generosity and regard for our fellow man to sustain a devotion to Service to Others…rather than to ourselves. And even our religious leaders, those that would or should inspire us to charity, seem largely just hucksters that become rich from farming our need to find meaning in our existence.
I surely have no answers…nothing that gives me any certainty that my own choices are any more divinely guided than the choices of anyone else. I’ve found some solace in a personal decision made years ago. It’s nothing I can honorably share here; doing so could only be perceived as bragging or self-promotion…never been comfortable with that. But I will say that what I’ve been doing encourages me that such conduct is “above the line”. I would be impressed to learn that someone else does what I do. I think we ALL hope to Make A Difference during our lives. I hope each of you find that way that marks your passage, your existence here and now.